February 1, 2018
A recent post touched upon the reluctance of many victims of sexual abuse to report the incidents or take their cases to court in part because of obstacles to achieving results through the judicial process. New developments in a case that drew national attention a while back illustrates the problems victims face, but it also gives hope that changes could be taking place.
Times are changing for victims of sexual abuse
The #MeToo movement and the public outing of abusers across all segments of society from the entertainment industry to politics and corporate America had not begun when a criminal case in a California courthouse drew the attention of the national media. The trial of a college athlete had concluded with his conviction on three felony charges, including attempted rape and digital penetration of an unconscious woman on a university campus.
At the sentencing, the court heard from the victim about the toll the criminal conduct of the defendant had taken on her. She expressed how important it was to have the opportunity to express her pain and torment to the person responsible for causing it. Sadly, the sentence handed down by the judge only served to confirm what had kept women from reporting their victimization.
The judge expressed his sympathy for the victim and the devastation the assault had on her, but the sentence of six months in jail and three years under probation supervision instead of the six years in prison requested by prosecutors because the judge was concerned about the effect a more severe sentence on the defendant caused outrage across the country. Locally, a recall petition with more than 94,000 signatures has recently been filed, so voters will have the chance to decide if the judge should keep his job.
Battling for the rights of victims of abuse
Representation by experienced sexual abuse attorneys ensures that victims receive fair treatment and are heard when they take their complaints into the courts. Times and people’s attitudes toward sexual misconduct, sexual abuse and workplace harassment are changing, but victims need to take action by coming forward.
It is important for victims and their families to understand that delays in reporting misconduct can jeopardize the ability of an attorney to pursue a compensation claim against the offender. The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time within which a lawsuit must be filed for compensation can be filed. Delays in reporting an incident can allow the offending parties to avoid being held accountable for the wrongs they committed.
Don’t delay in contacting an attorney
The attorneys at The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP, have been aggressively pursuing claims for victims of sexual abuse, harassment and other forms of misconduct for more than 25 years. Our compassionate attorneys devote their energies to developing innovative strategies designed to achieve maximum compensation for the physical and emotional trauma suffered by victims. We are dedicated to giving a voice to the victims. Contact us today by calling (949) 502-8600 or use the form on our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation.